Profiles in cannabis, this week with comedian Will Noonan
For 20 years, DigBoston (along with our newsletter, Talking Joints Memo since 2016) has covered the cultural corners of cannabis, as well as the more leathery legislative issues around pot and the law. This new recurring feature/column, “Bostoners,” is a smidgen of both—superficially, they’re cheeky interviews with local artists and creatives about cannabis in their careers and lives, but we’re doing them because despite legalization and evolving tolerance in general, there are still a lot of stigmas to dissolve, as anyone who has been watching as municipalities across the commonwealth ban retail operations is aware.
We’re just doing our part. In hopes that the effort can help set examples for people who remain ashamed to consume in front of friends and family members. We’re not saying everybody needs to burn in public parks and dress like Tommy Chong; rather, it would just be nice if the joint rollers among us could at least be able to join the nicotine inhalers at family gatherings, instead of always being banished to a car parked down the street.
Baby steps, you might say, and you can help us out. If you have a favorite Greater Boston artist or musician of some sort who is open about their cannabis consumption, please send a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without further ado, here’s our first installment featuring comedian and podcaster Will Noonan, who will also be contributing to the Dig as a sporadic columnist starting in the coming weeks.
Have you always been public about your pot use? To what extent?
Other than with my mom, I’ve always been pretty public about it. One of the bonuses of being in the comedy/acting world is that there are so many other people around with serious drug and alcohol problems that “just” smoking weed basically makes you look like a health nut.
What kind of cannabis consumer are you currently? Is there a main reason that you like to get high? How and why has that changed through the years?
I would definitely say I’m a daily smoker, but the amount in a day varies greatly. It could be bongs hits every half hour after noon, or just a small hit off a joint before bed. It varies a whole lot depending on how busy I am, how great the music I am listening to is, and how much my FIFA 17 franchise needs me to be clearheaded. As I get older, I probably smoke a little bit less than I used to. But I have more money for it. Life is cruel.
What are some of your favorite works of art, from film to music, to take in when you are high?
I love a nice film when I’m high, but honestly a video game is where it’s really at. Smoking the right weed and playing the right video game is an immersive experience like no other. I often wonder if when I’m 90 on my deathbed if I’ll look back on the 100 hours I spent playing Skyrim fondly, or as a waste of time. Hopefully I’ll be so baked I don’t give a shit.
What’s one of your earliest standout memories of buying and using weed in Boston?
The first time I ever smoked weed it was in Dorchester under an 1-93 overpass with a friend from Catholic school. I didn’t get very high, but my eyes got very red and I got paranoid. As we walked out of our smoking spot we passed three grown Irish mob-looking guys going to the spot we just left. Decades later I saw the movie Black Mass, where there was a mob hit in that exact location, and I half expected me and my buddy to walk through the scene looking scared in Ducky Boys T-shirts.
Do you have any current favorite strains, brands, dispensaries, etc.? What potentially excites you most about recreational sales?
I’m admittedly sort of intentionally ignorant when it comes to weed progress. I love to smoke, but the explosion of edibles, shatters and oils sometimes makes me feel like a scared old man shaking my fist at an mp3 player. I’ve tried it all, but I guess I’m just a basic bitch who loves a bong hit. I experimented with the “gray market” for a little while, buying “T-shirts that come with free weed” online for 120 bucks a T-shirt, but I eventually went back to just buying from my small time dealing buddies. I’m definitely looking forward to the day where I can buy it with more convenience, or on a whim. It would be great to say, “Hey, let’s grab a joint. I know good place down the street. Also, cool Zelda T-shirt.”
Do you have anything you are currently pushing, whether an event, a new site, etc.?
My podcast title, “High Pathetically with Will Noonan,” comes from an old joke of mine about weed. I used to say, When I smoke weed, high is how I get, pathetically is how I feel. The joke always got laughs because it’s sort of punchy, but it never sat 100 percent well with me. I actually rarely smoke weed and feel pathetic, but I do feel less arrogant. There is something humbling to the ego about weed, and that has always been one of my favorite things about it. I’ve often noticed that a lot of the people who hate weed the most vocally seem to be narcissistic egomaniacs, and it’s almost as if they know that smoking it would let them see themselves in actual size.
Cool theory, right? I was high when I came up with that.
Check out Will and get his show times at willnoonan.com.